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United States defends 4x400 title, wins fifth straight gold medal

By Bryan Fischer | Blogger
Sanya Richards-Ross anchored the 4x400m relay to yet another gold medal in the event. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

There was not a question of who would win the Women's 4x400m relay on Saturday, it was merely a question of by how much?

The United States sprinted out to an early lead and never relented as they blew away the field by finishing a good 30 meters in front of everybody else, their 3.36-second margin over Russia the biggest in the final of the long relay at the Olympics since East Germany beat the U.S. by 3.58 seconds in 1976.

DeeDee Trotter came out to a flying start to take the lead with a split of 49.57. Already a double gold medalist and world record holder, Allyson Felix stretched the lead out even more with a blistering 48.85 split before passing off to Francena McCorory.

"It's unbelievable," Felix said. "I think about how I ended in Beijing, just feeling discouraged there. Four years later to have all this happen, to really accomplish every goal that I set out, is such a blessing."

400 meter individual gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross anchored the team and brought them home to finish in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds.

"By the time I got the stick," Richards-Ross said, "it was basically a victory lap."

The United States hasn't lost the event at the Games since finishing second in 1992, giving the team their fifth straight gold medal in the 4x400m relay. Felix became the first American woman to win three Olympic golds since Florence Griffith-Joyner accomplished the feat in 1988.

"It's unbelievable," Felix said. "I think about how I ended in Beijing, just feeling discouraged there. Four years later to have all this happen, to really accomplish every goal that I set out, is such a blessing."

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